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Further to the circular of February 27, below are the latest developments on the TfL Pension Fund.
Member's will be aware of RMT's concern that TfL were attempting to push through the Trustee Board changes to the Fund Office's ill-health Guidelines with a view to introducing a far stricter basis for obtaining and retaining ill health pensions. RMT's view is quite simply that the Guidelines reflect the conditions of service and that Rule amendments since the Hatt Judgment had distorted the situation which management were now attempting to exploit to reduce pension costs.
RMT sought legal advice and Counsel's Opinion is that the 1998 Rule amendments were not executed correctly. The amendments were therefore void. In the circumstances, RMT wrote to the Director of Pensions and the Chairman of the TfL Pension Fund advising them of the union's legal advice and seeking an undertaking that there would be a complete freeze on monitoring of ill-health pensions pending further clarification of the situation. I have also written to TfL seeking an urgent discussion at the joint TU Pensions Working Group.
Whilst at the time of writing a response has not been received, the Trustees have decided to seek their own legal advice. However, in the meantime they have agreed there will be no changes to the current ill-health arrangements and consequently no monitoring of existing ill-health pensions until the situation has been fully clarified.
RMT will keep members advised of developments. Only RMT's perseverance on this issue has prevented management's attempts to introduce inferior ill-health arrangements.
It seems TfL's attempts to disturb the balance of power of the Trustee Board, by introducing an independent Chair as a nineteenth trustee, have been defeated. Following further consideration of the matter at the last Trustee Board, in the face of opposition from RMT and its nominated Trustee, AGS Sikorski, the Chairman of the Trustees has decided to advise the TfL Board that the Trustees are not in favour of progressing the matter.
I sincerely hope the TfL Board decides not to resurrect the proposal, but if they do, members will be assured RMT will take any steps necessary to defend the current Trustee Board's balance of power.
Arising from RMT's complaint that three former Metronet employees had been denied access to the TfL Pension Fund after being TUPE transferred to Dalkia, despite having protected status under the GLA Act 1999, management has indicated Dalkia had now established a Section in the TfL Pension Fund and arrangements were in hand to ensure that there would be no loss of entitlement.
Management have also given an assurance that robust arrangements have been introduced to ensure that such situations do not arise in the future.
Members will no doubt be pleased that once again action by RMT has ensured the rights of individual workers have been protected.